Marie Curie

“I was taught that the way of progress is neither swift nor easy”

Marie Curie

Marie Curie was a physicist and a chemist! Marie Curie was born on the 7 November 1867. She was born in Poland’s capital city, Warsaw. She was born Maria Sklodowska. She went to study in Paris at the Sorbonne in 1991.  This is where she met Pierre Curie, her husband. He was also a scientist. 

A scientist called Henri Becquerel had discovered a mysterious glow coming from uranium salts. Marie Curie was fascinated by the glow coming from the uranium salts. She wanted to find out what it was and why it was happening. In a shed, she and Pierre went to work! Marie examined the uranium with Pierre’s electrometer. She discovered that the energy being produced by uranium came from the atom itself. She started calling it “radioactivity”. To find the source she and Pierre ground up and filtered other radioactive elements. When trying to find the source they discovered two new radioactive elements called polonium and radium. Radium is named after the Sun. Polonium is named after Poland.

The Curies received a Nobel Prize in physics in 1903, for the discovery of radiation. In 1911 Marie won another Nobel prize but this time it was for Chemistry and it was because of her discovery and research into polonium and radium. But because of the radiation from their experiments they were becoming sick. It made them both become tired and achy. In 1906 Pierre died in a horse-carriage accident. 

But Marie continued working despite her grief and found out that radium could treat cancer! She also inherited Pierre’s chair at the Sorbonne and became their first female professor.  When France was invaded in The First World War, Marie created a unit of X-ray trucks, which she and her daughter (Irene)  drove on to the battlefields to help the wounded soldiers. Marie Curie had 2 daughters, Irene Joliot-Curie and Eve Curie. 

Marie Curie changed the world. Without her, the world would not be the same today! She founded elements, played a huge part in finding treatment for cancer and helped wounded soldiers on the battlefield. At the same time she was getting sick because of her work on radiation. She died in 1934 because of her exposure to too much radiation. 

“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.” 

Marie Curie

“One never notices what has been done; one can only see what remains to be done.”

Marie Curie

I like history because it is interesting. You can learn about people you have never met and people you have met. In history you can learn when something happened and why. You can learn about people living a hundred years ago and people living ten years ago. Without history you wouldn’t know about many people! Without history you wouldn’t know many battles and many Kings and Queens. 

History is important.